Rocker Johny Barbata remembers David Crosby
Jan. 28—Drummer Johny Barbata weighed in about the recent death of music legend David Crosby, who died January 18.
Barbata, who now lives in Ada, played with a number of popular groups starting in the 1960s, including The Turtles, Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young, The Jefferson Airplane, and The Jefferson Starship.
"David Crosby got me into Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young," Barbata said Thursday. "I was up in La Honda (California) visiting a friend of mine. He walked in with Neil Young and David Crosby. They had just fired their drummer; they were looking to get a drummer."
Barbata said he took the job, "which led to seven albums collectively and individually with those guys," Barbata added.
"When I was with them, they were the biggest group in the world," he said.
"David Geffen called me into his office and said, 'Hey, there's this new band I want you to drum for called The Eagles.' I said, The Eagles? I've never heard of them."
"Crosby also got me into The Jefferson Airplane," Barbata said. "They'd lost their drummer, and he recommended me to them, so I went down there and got the gig; we had one little rehearsal and they loved it. So I became the drummer for The Airplane, which led to the Starship. I was the only drummer to be in The Airplane and The Starship, thanks to David Crosby."
"David was always a really good guitar player," Barbata added. "He was a good songwriter, singer. He developed as he got along, he got better and better. He wrote a lot of songs. He was the centerpiece of CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) you could say.
"He went through a lot of trauma and hardships in his life," Barbata added. "David was a character, for sure. He was outrageous. He's really going to be missed. He was quite a centerpiece in the music scene. So, yeah, he's going to be sorely missed."
Barbata's book, "Johny Barbata, The Legendary Life of a Rock Star Drummer," is available on Amazon.